Bob Hogan on Workplace Culture

RT CultureCulture can best be defined in terms of the values that guide the behavior and decision making of a social unit—a team, a family, a business, etc. Culture is not vague and touchy-feely; cultures can be easily and reliably assessed using any number of commercially available survey instruments. Cultures have real, concrete behavioral consequences, and they directly influence the performance of business organizations. As Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management practices, observed: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That is, no matter what strategy a company might adopt, the culture will enable or prevent that strategy from being implemented.

A concrete example might help. Several years ago, we were contacted by a newly opened, high end hotel in London because it was struggling financially. We assessed the top management team using our measure of values and found the following. On the one hand, the top management team had very high scores on the Customer Service, Aesthetics, and Hedonism scales, which meant that they cared deeply about quality, style, and providing a superb and enjoyable customer experience; these values are perfect for hospitality. On the other hand, the top management team scored low on the Power and Commerce scales—which meant that no one cared about making money or beating the competition—and this explained their poor financial performance.   Read More »

How the Best CEOs Differ from Average Ones

dylan-nolte-567174-unsplash*This article was written by Dean Stamoulis of Russell Reynolds Associates, and was originally published by Harvard Business Review on November 15, 2016.

We all know the stereotypes: Great CEOs are extroverted. They’re self-promoting. They’re risk takers. But are these stereotypes true? Which traits actually differentiate CEOs from other executives? And, most important, which attributes separate successful CEOs from other CEOs?

There is a great deal of conjecture and mythology about CEOs and the attributes that define their success.Russell Reynolds Associates, in partnership with Hogan Assessment Systems, has led a research effort to separate myth from reality, identifying key indicators of leadership that have a measurable impact on a company’s growth. The results demonstrate that intensity, an ability to prioritize and focus on substance, and an ability to know what one doesn’t know (and utilize the best in what others do know) are more strongly related to best-in-class CEO leadership than traditional traits like extroversion or self-promotion.

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Unleash Your Future Leaders’ Full Potential

marcus-benedix-606296-unsplash*This article was originally published in the Competency Issue of Talent Quarterly earlier this month, and was authored by David Hoff, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leadership Development at EASI Consult. Visit Talent Quarterly’s website to purchase the full issue as well as all previous issues.   

IN LAST YEAR’S BULLSHIT ISSUE (TQ 14), W. Warner Burke, Ph.D., wrote a column about his work researching and defining learning agility. If step one was introducing the world to learning agility, then step two is showing how it can be put to practical use in organizations. It’s time to take that step.

Building on the work of University of Michigan professor D. Scott DeRue, who identified the learning agility dimensions of speed and flexibility, Burke pinpointed seven others in his Talent Quarterly article: performance risk taking, interpersonal risk taking, collaborating, information gathering, feedback seeking, experimenting, and reflecting.

Burke and DeRue differentiated between learning agility and ability. While ability consists of horsepower or intelligence, agility is the versatility to access capabilities for solving problems in situations in which you don’t know what to do. Ability is certainly important—to a point. But then agility steals the show.

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Recruiting Across Cultures: One Size Does Not Fit All

zhang-kaiyv-422413-unsplashWhen scaling out a talent management program such as a wide-screening selection initiative, ensuring accurate interpretation of candidates’ assessment results across a team of recruiters is challenging in and of itself. That challenge is immeasurably amplified when these candidates hail from different regions and cultures, where the expectations of an employee can vary wildly from those of headquarters. For HR leaders at multinational corporations — or at organizations operating in countries that share a talent pool with culturally distinct neighbors — this challenge tends to arise more often than not, and has been intensely magnified by the recent shifts in the macro-business landscape.

The recent global economic turmoil galvanized the localization of jobs across the world and resulted in organizational charts catering to the new era of emerging-market consumers. As companies quickly strategized to make up for the sagging established customer bases and to capitalize on diversity of perspective, indigenous benefactors of the developing world were suddenly being considered for jobs where they were asked to carry twice the responsibility of their expat predecessors — and to do so with half the resources and little if any preparation. Though the eye of the initial financial storm has since passed, it seems those in the talent management industry forgot to ask the most pertinent question when it came to deploying recruitment models across the globe: When we apply our recruitment processes and evaluation models in different regions, do our standard interpretations still hold?

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Dr. Jekyll + Mr. Jobs

Steve Jobs*This article was originally published in the Competency Issue of Talent Quarterly earlier this month. Visit their website to purchase the full issue as well as all previous issues.

IN THIS SPECIAL ESSAY, Jorge E. Fernandez, a consultant with the Hogan Coaching Network, examines mercurial Apple founder Steve Jobs using the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), which describes the dark side of personality—qualities that emerge in times of increased strain that can disrupt relationships, damage reputations, and hinder peoples’ chances of success.

By assessing dark-side personality, you can recognize and mitigate performance risks before they become a problem. Here, Fernandez tracks the major steps of Jobs’s storied career, from Apple’s humble beginnings to the company’s unprecedented comeback two decades later, and all the sabotaging and backstabbing in between.

Introduced in 1997, the HDS is the only personality assessment that identifies critical blind spots that lead to career derailment. How might Jobs’s career have progressed if the inventory existed in the 1970s? Here’s what Jobs’s trajectory—and the HDS—can teach you when it comes to developing the next great leaders.

I’m probably the first person ever to compare Steve Jobs to Billy Joel, so here goes nothing: In his 1989 hit “I Go to Extremes,” the Rock and Roll Hall-of- Famer succinctly captured the unpredictable quality of the artistic temperament when he sang, “I don’t know why I go to extremes / Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-betweens.” Much like the protagonist in Joel’s song, the Apple cofounder’s professional life stands out for its sharp ups and downs, with few in- betweens. (Nailed it.)

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Leader Focus: View Leadership Through the Right Lens

LFBlogColoradoMost organizations classify career advancement as transitioning into a series of people leadership roles. But, what does that mean for an organization’s high performers whose strengths are not aligned with the abilities to manage themselves and others effectively?

For instance, some leaders are all about results. Take Oracle CEO, Safra Catz, for example. She is widely known as an aggressive businesswoman who aims to win at all costs. On the other hand, someone like Andre Young, AKA Dr. Dre, is considered by his peers to be an innovative thought leader who focuses on the big picture. Both have experienced a tremendous amount of success in their careers, but they did so with very different approaches. 

Hogan’s Leader Focus Report offers organizations a solution designed to help determine the leadership style employees display, and what leadership role might be the best fit for them. This report simplifies and provides insight into six leadership dimensions that influence leadership style and effectiveness:

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The Most Common Type of Incompetent Leader

Scott_IMG_9325This article was originally written by Scott Gregory for Harvard Business Review on March 30, 2018.

A young friend recently remarked that the worst boss he ever had would provide him with feedback that always consisted of “You’re doing a great job.” But they both knew it wasn’t true — the organization was in disarray, turnover was excessive, and customers were not happy. My friend was giving it his all, but he needed more support and better feedback than he received. He wanted a leader who would be around when he needed them, and who would give him substantive advice, not platitudes. As a measure of his frustration, he said, “I would rather have had a boss who yelled at me or made unrealistic demands than this one, who provided empty praise.”

Researchers have studied managerial derailment — or the dark side of leadership — for many years. The key derailment characteristics of bad managers are well documented and fall into three broad behavioral categories: (1) “moving away behaviors,” which create distance from others through hyper-emotionality, diminished communication, and skepticism that erodes trust; (2) “moving against behaviors,” which overpower and manipulate people while aggrandizing the self; and (3) “moving toward behaviors,” which include being ingratiating, overly conforming, and reluctant to take chances or stand up for one’s team. The popular media is full of examples of bad leaders in government, academia, and business with these characteristics. However, my friend was describing something arguably worse than an incompetent boss. His manager was not overtly misbehaving, nor was he a ranting, narcissistic sociopath. Rather, his boss was a leader in title only — his role was leadership, but he provided none. My friend was experiencing absentee leadership, and unfortunately, he is not alone. Absentee leadership rarely comes up in today’s leadership or business literature, but research shows that it is the most common form of incompetent leadership.

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Mentoring or Coaching: Are They Different and Does It Really Matter?

aps-logo-cmyk-02-dark-small*This article was written by Rob Field, Learning and Development Director at Advanced People Strategies.

In organisations today, change is constant, rapid and relentless. Learning needs to follow this. Helping individuals and teams in this context is always challenging.

Coaching and mentoring have a key role to play, but they are very different even though the terms seem to be used interchangeably. Any sharing of knowledge, experience or advice, in my opinion, is always good as it can accelerate the process. Mentoring can, conversely, create a perpetuation of similar tried and tested approaches and a feeling of obligation to follow the advice of a more senior and more experienced mentor. Solid mentoring relationships can create opportunities that otherwise would not exist.

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Bob Hogan Discusses the Importance of Humility in Leaders

When organizations are working to identify new leaders, too often they gravitate toward those who are charismatic, narcissistic, and inappropriately self-confident. These individuals tend to emerge because they are well-liked and masters in the art of office politics. However, decades of data and research prove that people with these characteristics are extremely ineffective leaders, and can ultimately destroy the organizations they have been chosen to serve.

On the contrary, leaders with humility combined with the appropriate amount of self-confidence have proven to be extremely effective in leadership roles because of their ability to build and maintain high-performing teams. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked by their superiors due to their inability to emerge in most organizational settings.

In this video, Bob Hogan discusses the importance of humility in leaders and how Hogan Assessments is preparing to help organizations across the globe to identify future leaders who are humble, competent, and effective.

Hogan to Present at 33rd Annual SIOP Conference

SIOP 18 CroppedIt’s that time of year again! On April 19-21 in Chicago, I-O experts from Hogan’s Research and Consulting divisions will showcase advances in personality research at the 33rd Annual SIOP Conference. Here’s a detailed schedule of all sessions, including symposia, panel discussions, and poster sessions:

Thursday, April 19

Mobile Assessment: Practical Considerations for Implementation
Jennifer Lowe
12:00pm
Chicago 6

Test publishers and an employer discuss strategies for use of mobile assessments. Topics include demographic group differences for mobile versus desktop and implications of this, demonstration of novel, mobile-friendly response formats, and design considerations to optimize candidate experience across devices. Audience will participate by sampling assessment experiences “live” via mobile device.

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